Cupra, the performance-oriented Volkswagen Group brand bound for Australia, has continued to build its executive team ahead of a mid-2022 launch.

Having announced its managing director and product plan in June, Cupra has announced a trio of Volkswagen Group staff will take senior roles Down Under.

Jeff Shafer, currently head of product marketing at Volkswagen passenger cars, will be head of product for Cupra Australia.

Cupra’s new head of sales will be Anoosh Saffari, who was previously in charge of Skoda sales for Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania, while Dane Harvey will be head of network development for Cupra.

Mr Harvey has previously worked closely with the Volkswagen dealer network.

The launch of Cupra in Australia won’t follow a traditional dealership model.

Instead, it’ll rely on online sales backed by a network of what the Spanish brand is calling Cupra City Garages, staffed by Cupra Masters who’ll look after customers through their purchase.

They’ll also look after the after sales process once customers have signed on the dotted line.

Cupra is on track to launch with three models, two of which will be offered with plug-in hybrid power.

The latest Volkswagen Group plug-in hybrid range has previously been off the table for Australia, so Cupra bringing two options Down Under is a big deal.

Having launched as a standalone brand (rather than a performance trim on Seat cars) in 2018, Cupra sold more than 27,000 cars in 2020.

The Formentor is the brand’s biggest car overseas, accounting for around two thirds of all sales. It’ll be joined by the Ateca and Leon in Australia.

Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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